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Investing in Atlanta’s Arts Educators is an Investment in Atlanta’s Youth

Why investing in Atlanta’s Creative Youth Should Also Include an Investment in Atlanta’s Arts Educators

By: Elisabeth Herrera-Very for C4

 

Atlanta is known for it’s vibrant, diverse, expanding arts community. From the amazing street art adorning our neighborhoods to blockbuster film projects; we have so much art to celebrate. Atlanta seems like a likely place to invest in the future of it’s arts community, however, the accessibility of arts education for Atlanta’s youth tells a different story. Wouldn’t it make sense to grow our own artists within the educational institutions we already have established? Wouldn’t more arts programming in our public schools add only greatness to our already robust arts scene? A greater emphasis on the arts sounds like an amazing idea but for that to happen we need to invest in supports for our arts educators.

All students in Georgia do not have equal access to a quality education in the arts. Data collected by the Georgia Council for the Arts (2015) show that nearly 40% of Georgia’s youth do not have access to high quality visual arts education, this means that students are being taught by a person who is not certified to teach visual arts, and 19% of those students do not have access to visual arts education at all. Arts disciplines such as theater arts have an even lower amount of high quality teachers in the field with 76% of Georgia’s youth going without any access to theater programs in their school (Bell, 2015, p. 17). One may ask, why don’t schools hire more arts educators? Historically, arts have been undervalued in public schools with little to no investment in growing arts programs, however, a more pressing problem is having access to high quality arts educators to fill those vacancies in the event that a school or district decides to invest in the arts. Keeping high quality educators in the field is problematic due to ever increasing teacher turnover.

SEE FULL ARTS EDUCATION REPORT HERE

In Georgia, like across our nation, teacher turnover is high. The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education stated in it’s Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2019 report that 13% of Georgia’s teachers leave the profession after only one year and 44% of teachers leave the field by their fifth year (GPEE, 2019, p.24). This high level of teacher turnover costs our public schools over 2 billion dollars every year (Phillips, 2015, para. 3). Many factors contribute to this alarming rate of attrition (teachers leaving the field) but the lack of supports for teachers is high on the list of reasons. The findings from GADOE’s “Georgia’s Teacher Dropout Crisis” survey (2015) show that one of the main reasons teachers leave the field in Georgia is the lack of professional development (Owens, 2015, p.4).

DOWNLOAD FULL PDF HERE 

As a visual arts teacher, I have spent the past near decade working in a variety of metro-Atlanta districts serving traditionally underserved populations. I have seen first-hand how the lack of supports for teachers affect the success of students. With pay freezes and furloughs, high-stakes testing, and general apathy or disregard towards the profession by the public it isn’t hard to see why so many people choose to leave the field. This is especially problematic in the fields of fine arts. So many principals do not have an understanding of what we do and so many school districts see us as extraneous additions to the curriculum. When a trained professional is treated as one of the least important members of the staff it is hard to maintain morale. In the majority of metro-Atlanta districts arts teachers exist on an island of isolation. Being the only art teacher in a school can be lonely; there is no one to bounce ideas off of, no one who speaks the language of the arts fluently, and sadly, no room to grow. Sitting on the lowest rung of the ladder year after year is exhausting and disheartening. Upon sharing my findings with a group at C4 one member stated that her husband had been a theater teacher but chose to leave the field. She stated matter of factly “…and he was such a good teacher”. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. Those of us who have a true passion for teaching in the arts are often crushed by the lack of supports or lack of access to supports.

I share these findings with the intent of sparking conversation in regard to what we value about the arts in Atlanta and the correlation between growing our artists and supporting our arts educators. Investing in Atlanta’s creative industries means investing in the educators who nurture and facilitate the growth of those creatives. We have all turned to someone to learn something new at some point in our life and those experts in their field supported us. Now it’s our turn to support those who teach in the arts because without their expertise our vibrant arts community will fade and for some of our most creative kiddos, their most effective means of communication with their world will cease to grow.

Resources:

  • Bell, A. (2015). Arts Education in Georgia: Public School Data and Principal Perspectives. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.georgia.org/sites/default/files/wp-uploads/2018/07/Arts-Education-Research-Report.pdf
  • Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (2019). Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from http://www.gpee.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/GPEE-Top-Ten-2019-Final_1-7-19.pd
  • Owens, S. J. (2015). Georgia’sTeacher Dropout Crisis A Look at Why Nearly Half of Georgia Public School Teachers are Leaving the Profession. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Documents/Teacher%20Survey%20Results.pdf
  • Phillips, O. (2015, March 30). Revolving Door Of Teachers Costs Schools Billions Every Year. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/03/30/395322012/the-hidden-costs-of-teacher-turnover

C4 Atlanta Expands Space to Offer More Studio Space for Artists In South Downtown

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

C4 Atlanta Expands Space to Offer More Studio Space for Artists In South Downtown

DATE: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Atlanta, GA – C4 Atlanta announces a space expansion to provide more studio opportunities to Atlanta-based, artists. C4 has signed a lease to become a tenant at 132 Mitchell Street.

After being at the M Rich Building since 2012, the nonprofit arts organization will be doubling its current space capacity. In addition to artist studios, the new arts center will offer offices for small arts businesses and nonprofits. The space will have two common area rooms for meetings or workshops. C4 Atlanta has a target move-in date of May 1, 2019. The space has a new HVAC system, elevator, and buildout is to begin soon for a fully ADA compliant bathroom. The new arts space will also be renovated with new floors and paint before move-in.

The expansion is part of an effort to keep arts workers from being fully displaced from South Downtown. With new development coming, real estate prices are expected to escalate. This trend is happening in Atlanta and other major cities across the United States.

As part of a program expansion tied to the space, C4 Atlanta will be receiving a $10,000 grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation to pilot a new incubation program that combines professional development and coaching with studio space for artists. C4 Atlanta works with a diverse array of artists that includes visual artists, performing artists, film makers, musicians, and curators.

“We are excited about this move. Our team has been exploring this possibility for several years,” said Jessyca Holland, co-founder and Executive Director. “At one point, we thought we may have to leave downtown but we found a space that fits our vision for the next several years, and we get to stay in the heart of the city of Atlanta.”

132 Mitchell is owned by Winter Properties. The building is located near public transit. C4 Atlanta will rent out the top floor.

“We are excited to be a part of C4 Atlanta’s next growth phase. The arts are important to the fabric of South Downtown,” stated Stacy Crane of Winter Properties.

The organization is now seeking artists who are in need of a studio or small art businesses that need office space. For more information, please email actionteam@c4atlanta.org.

About C4 Atlanta:

C4 Atlanta Inc. is a non-profit arts service organization whose mission is to connect arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta. The organization was founded in July 2010 in response to a growing need for business services for Atlanta’s arts community. C4 Atlanta fulfills this mission by offering professional practice classes for artists, fiscal sponsorship, co-working space, and advocacy for arts workers. C4 Atlanta’s program offerings are geared toward creating a new foundation of sustainability for arts and culture in the Atlanta region. For more information, visit c4atlanta.org.

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Talk Art to Me: You’ve Got Mad Skills by Vito Leanza

 

Vito in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a costume he designed and built.

“Any acrobatics? Tell us more about your rope spinning.”

How many of you have gone to an audition and have been asked similar questions by the folks behind the table at your audition? For me, personally, it happens all the time.

When I first moved to New York City in 1995 to pursue a career in Musical Theatre, the buzz word flying around was “Triple Threat.” For those who don’t know what that means, it refers to being a Singer, Dancer and Actor. What more could Producers and Directors want? That was the whole package!

Back then (and still true today) many dancers, were strictly dancers, some could sing, but their forte was dance. They were known as Dancers who
sing. Singers on the other hand, same scenario, were Singers who could dance or Singers Who Move Well. No one really asked you if you could act, they just assumed you could. They would know more if they handed you sides to study.

In todays competitive world of Musical Theatre, Film and Television, its almost demanded that we have a special skill to make us stand out, to land that role. This is true especially in Musical Theatre where shows are much more flashy, technical and exciting! Take the recent revival of Pippin! You get the picture? Our special skills are just as important as our singing/dancing and acting lessons.

Before I found my way into musical theatre, I just happen to have many special skills. I learned because I was interested in them, not because I needed them for my resume. Here’s my list of special skills that I love to rattle off to folks for fun, but they are all true.

I am a Singer/Dancer/Actor/ Acrobat/Puppeteer/Stilt Walker/Unicyclist/
Juggler/Improv Actor/Writer/Costume Designer. In fact at one point, below
my special skills on my resume, I was bold and wrote “Creative Beyond
Belief.”

Vito as an acrobat in Joseph and the
Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I learned all these skills bit by bit as time went by. I learned how to ride a unicycle at age 9 because a unicycle club came and performed at my elementary school. As a kid, I was also a springboard diver. I competed in high school and was a scholarship athlete in college. I had always been acrobatic and one day, while hanging around my church gym, I took those diving skills and transferred them into tumbling skills, which lead me to being a Varsity Cheerleader for 3 years. After college, I worked at Walt Disney World where I learned how to be a puppeteer and stilt walker, which were jobs within my job as a character performer and dancer. Eventually that lead me to dance classes and Musical Theatre.

When I moved to NYC and had a real resume, I would be at auditions and the producers would glance down and look at my special skills and almost always ask about my acrobatics. In fact, I got 90% of my jobs because of my special skills.

In 1997, I auditioned for the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I went in and sang and they asked me to return for a call back. Before I walked away, something compelled me to speak up about being an acrobat. It’s important that when you have the opportunity to sell what makes you unique, you do it! The folks behind the table lit up and said when I returned for my callback, I could tumble for them. The next day at the dance call, they asked me to tumble and I did a few tricks for them. I got the job and spent 15 months on the road.

I am now in the Atlanta Gay Mens Chorus and currently working at Stone Mountain Park during their Pumpkin Festival. I was called in to audition at Stone Mountain Park after I was seen at Unifieds. I was asked to prepare a comedic monologue and a song. I did my monologue then sang my song. They (and there were 4 folks behind the table that day) looked down at my special skills and began to ask about each special skill one by one. One director literally said “Stop, I didn’t hear a word after you said Costume Designer.” He was still trying to process that when the others where already asking about my circus skills and my puppeteering. Clearly I got the job. But I actually got 3 separate jobs from that one audition. I was hired as a Puppeteer, an Improv Actor and a Costume Designer. Here’s the kicker, I am also riding my Unicycle in a parade as well as Juggling. 5 skills utilized!

Life is a journey. We learn new things that lead us to other new things. As performers, we have a world of opportunity to learn new special skills.
Atlanta has more and more quality theaters opening all the time, plus more tv shows and movies filming here. I encourage you to seek out a
Puppeteering class, an acrobatics/tumbling class, a circus skills class. Make yourself more marketable. There’s a reason it’s called a Play.

Vito holding a Shrek Dragon Puppet that he made.

Connect with Vito:

Email: vitoworld@yahoo.com
Website: http://vitoworldproductions.com/

Five Ways to Optimize Your Website

 

With the continous rise of social media, creatives often wonder why it’s important to still have a website. Instagram allows you to collect your profiles data analytics,  connect with your audience , sell ads, and essentially expand your brand. However, there are still many incidents where popular influencers pages have gotten hacked and they’ve had to start all the way over. Your website is YOURS! This is where people are coming to learn about you. The question becomes, why should your audience visit your website? They can visit your Instagram , Facebook, and Snapchat to see what you’ve been up to.  Here’s five ways that you can optimize your website and keep your audience coming back for more.

  1. Update your website frequently –
    Keeping your audience engaged with what your doing is very important. Make sure that whatever new projects you’ve been working on or new achievements you’ve made in your career are featured on your website. Some artists have content that is exclusivley for their website. When you update your website frequently, you’re giving your audience a reason to constantly check your page for new content.

2. Offer discounted prices or promotions for people who join your mailing list through your website – 

People LOVE discounts! They’re also intrigued by recieving incentives for actively engaging with your platform. Once you’ve collected contact information from your audience you now have the power to engage with them more frequently. You’re able to see what they like, what they care about, and invite them to your shows/events outside of social media.

3. Use social media to drive traffic to your website – 

Whenever you post a new video,  put new artwork up for sale, post a blog, or an article that you like, let people know on your social media pages that there’s something new up on your website.. As a performing artist, I will often post a teaser performance video and tell people to view the entire video on my site. Make sure that you’re utilizing your Instagram and Facebook stories along with posting on your page.

4. Use your data analytics from your website to create your own marketing strategy – 

Knowing what your audience is interested in and how many times their visiting your site isn’t enough when you don’t know how to use the data to expand your brand. Anaylze your site data and come up with marketing strategies based off of what your audience wants. For example, if my unique visitors

5. Sell ad space/ offer ad space in exchange for sponsorship – 

When I started reaching out to potential sponsors for my debut concert, I created a sponsorship package which included ad space as perk for sponsoring the event. This is a way to generate income based off of how many people view your site. It provides an incentive to create new business realtionships.

 

Whether you’ve had your website for years or just starting out, these are great tips to help you stay up to date in the constantly changing digital world. People are interested in receiving information and content in real time! These tips can help to make your website the go to place for content in your artistic field.  If you’re thinking about starting a website or revamping your own, sign up for our Website Bootcamp class happening Tuesdays, Sept 25 – Oct 16, 2018 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

 

Thanks for reading!

Sponsor Spotlight : The Pixel Pusher

We appreciate the support of “The Pixel Pusher” who sponsored the Atlanta Unifieds Auditons. It’s important to C4 Atlanta that we support Atlanta Businesses who support artists. Learn more about The Pixel Pusher team and their support for the Atlanta Theatre community.

 

 

 

TechsmARTs Podcast: Episode 2 | Virtual Reality and Art Making

The last Friday of every month, C4 Atlanta features a new episode of our podcast Techsmarts | Art + Technology. Listen, Rate and Subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud.

TechsmARTs Podcast : Episode 2 | Art Making and Virtual Reality, with Dale Adams

Dale Adams (far left), with Dream Collection Agency. Photo Courtesy Dream Collection Agency.
Dale Adams (far left), with Dream Collection Agency. Photo Courtesy Dream Collection Agency.

Featuring: Dale Adams, visual and sound VR artist

In this episode, C4 Atlanta chats with Dale Adams, Artist and Virtual Reality Specialist, about his work creating sound and visual work in the virtual world. We explore the possibilities for art making with VR technologies, the origins of art making with VR and how a group of artists is collecting Atlanta’s dreams.

Check out more of Dale’s work online:

Behance | Twitter (@architeck1) | Instagram (@architek1) 

For more information about Dream Collection Agency, visit dreamcollectionagency.com or dial 267-53WINK.

Click Here to Rate and Subscribe This Episode

TechsmARTs: Digital Documentation and Storytelling

On August 5, 2017, C4 Atlanta hosted a TechsmARTs Conversation on Digital Documentation and Storytelling.  Our friends at MOCA GA graciously hosted this conversation. Speakers Kimberly Binns and Reis Birdwhistell lead presentations for artists who don’t work in documentation mediums such as film and photography on the basics of documenting work. Both artists document work for other artists in the community, including photographing performance and visual art and documentary filmaking.

 

Reis talked about the basic needs for photographing work or performance. In particular, he emphasized that in order to get the shot you really want, taking time to experiment with different filters, light placement and effects while shooting can help eliminate time spent editing. Including a grey card or industry standard color card in the periphery of the shot (to be edited out later) can help a printer to find the proper color for accurate reproductions. For performance, preparation is key to getting quality images. Seeing a dress rehearsal beforehand can help with informing camera placement and which scenes have the best lighting for photography. Some scenes can also be staged out for the photographer as tableaus so that you can achieve the proper look and feel in a more controlled environment outside of the performance.

 

Kimberly’s presentation focused primarily on representing yourself through the story you’d like to tell about your art.  As an example, Kimberly showed a clip from her series Maker_ in which she documents the work of Atlanta makers and creatives. Kimberly works with the individual artist to craft the perfect narrative for their artwork and business. Watch Kim’s film of Cord Shoes and Boots artist Sarah Green. Above all, Kimberly stressed beginning with what you have and working up to larger resources as you have access to them. You can begin with your cell phone camera or rent nicer equipment from a film rental company to stay economical. Some editing software is free but is limited in its usage. Some more expensive industry standard products like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro have free trials and online tutorials to help users learn to use software.

 

You can download a PDF copy of the slide decks presented below:

 

You can follow each of our presenters on their Social Media platforms here:
Kimberley Binns: @binnski (Instagram) | @kimberlybinns (Twitter) | Kim Binns (Vimeo)
Reis Birdwhistell: Reis Birdwhistell Photography (Facebook)

 

An archive of the conversation is available on Periscope here:

 

Resources Referenced in this Conversation:
Adobe Creative Cloud Editing Software (Modules available include Premiere Pro for Film and Lightroom, Illustrator, and Photoshop for image editing. Free 30 day trials available.)
Final Cut Pro (Software for Mac for editing film. Also has free trial versions available)

 

One last announcement: C4 Atlanta is launching a TechsmARTs podcast! Look for our launch this Summer 2017. Upcoming topics include net neutrality, working in virtual reality, submissions for film and TV and much more. Have a topic you’d like to see us explore in a future TechsmARTs? Submit it here.

Welcome Spring 2017 Hatch Artists

Artist Meredith Kooi setting up a participatory installation utilizing radio waves.
Artist Meredith Kooi setting up a participatory installation utilizing radio waves.

C4 Atlanta is proud to announce the twelve artists selected into the Hatch Training Intensive for Spring 2017! These artists will spend the next four months learning skills for creating art projects with community.

The Hatch Training Intensive was established as a training program through C4 Atlanta in October 2015. The course is a result of three years of collaboration, research and curriculum development with both national and local experts in the field of community driven art projects. Now in its third cycle, past participating artists have gone on to work on public art projects across the country and internationally. The program emphasizes skills in cultural organizing, understanding and establishing identity, identifying key community stakeholders, and working with community in ways that are sustainable for both artists and community members. The program also emphasizes important career development skills necessary to do social and civic practice work, including working with city planners, applying for RFPs/RFQs, negotiation and budgeting.

Photo by Anthony Gary, from his upcoming book, I Am Human. The image depicts 23-year-old Danny Thompson, a homeless man living in Atlanta.
Photo by Anthony Gary, from his upcoming book, I Am Human. The image depicts 23-year-old Danny Thompson, a homeless man living in Atlanta.

“Hatch is creating a pipeline of artists well trained to work in community development on both civic and artist-led community projects. Protecting both the interests and the integrity of community members is central to this program,” said Executive Director Jessyca Holland. “We also know that the artists involved need skills to protect their business and artistic interests in order to do this work, and that is part of their training, too.”

“We are excited by the diversity of experience and expertise that the Spring 2017 cohort brings,” said Audrey Gámez, Education Manager. “These are dynamic artists who span an array of ages, identities and disciplines. Their work is an expression of love for the communities with which they work.”

Artists selected to the Spring 2017 Hatch Training Intensive include:

Lisa Alembik: A native Atlantan, Lisa Alembik is an artist, educator and curator. Her work focuses on spaces that are charged with histories of love and violence, the effects of loving and loss on the fleshy body, and issues of misogyny and women’s rights. In early 2016, drawings from her series titled “Murder Ballads” were exhibited in “The Green Mantle,” named after a chapter in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, curated by Ann-Marie Manker at Kibbee Gallery, GA. Summer of 2016, a sculptural installation of plaster works, both abject and fetid, were included in critic Jerry Cullum’s curation “Garden of Unearthly Delights.” Among Alembik’s solo exhibitions are “In the Belly of the Whale” at the Arts Exchange, and “Solace” at the Spruill Gallery. Her work was included in exhibitions “Herstory” at the Memphis College of Art gallery, “Sex Drive” at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, “Pap Art,” at Truman State University, MO and San Francisco’s City College Art Gallery, and “The Last Taboo” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. Alembik’s curatorial projects from 2016 were “Lightweight” at the Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, GA and “This beautiful tangle” at the Dalton Gallery of Agnes Scott College. She is an associate professor at Georgia State University-Perimeter College in Clarkston, where she teaches the foundations of art, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, drawing and painting.

 

Rachel Garbus: Rachel Garbus is a theater-maker, writer, improviser and actress. A graduate of Smith College, Rachel is a native New Englander but is proud to call Atlanta home since 2013. She performs around town with Village Theater, Highwire Comedy, and the lit shows Write Club and Bleux Stockings Society. Her devised theater work – creating an original piece with input from all members of the ensemble – has taken her to New York, Haiti, and the east side of Atlanta. She’s never been one to turn down a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie or a singalong. Rachel is thrilled to join the 2017 Hatch intensive!

 

Anthony Gary:  Anthony Gary is a self-taught freelance photographer. Mr. Gary is an Atlanta native whose love for photojournalism has lead him his most recent project producing a book called I am Human covering the impoverished population of Atlanta. Anthony also works in the local film industry as an IATSE Local 479 member as a motion picture grip. An active member of the local arts community, Anthony enjoys freestyle rapping as a member of Soul Food Cypher, writing stand-up comedy, and screenwriting. He is also a dedicated volunteer with non-profit organizations such Mission Dawgs, MUST, and WonderRoot.

 

Julia Hill: Julia Hill is an artist living in Atlanta, GA. She is owner and director of The Workshop, a mixed-use artist studio and makerspace. She enjoys facilitating creative visions, being outside, and playing with dogs. Julia’s studio pursuits include large puppetry, installation, metal fabrication, ceramics, and much more.

 

 

Brice Kennedy:  Brice Kennedy is a visual artist and graphic designer. A conceptual designer, his inspiration for innovation is a quote by another artist: “Anything can work!”. His work is influenced by relationships and personalities of those he has met through his travels. A native Atlantan, he spent most of his childhood playing in local creeks.

 

 

Meredith Kooi: Meredith Kooi is a visual and performance artist, critic, curator, and educator based in ATL. Using research-based and process-based practices, Kooi engages radio broadcast, performance, drawing, mapping, writing, book-making and zines, video, photography, and installation to illuminate the embodied nature of the electromagnetic spectrum. In recent years, Meredith has been working collaboratively, connecting with others in conversations, oftentimes broadcasting those dialogues on air. She is an artist-in-residence with The Creatives Project (2015-17), a Wave Farm Transmission Artist, Hambidge Fellow, and recipient of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs Emerging Artist Award (2014-15). Meredith is currently working on her PhD at Emory University in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, received her MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011), and earned her BA in Environmental Studies from Denison University (2007).

 

Lydia See: Lydia See is a multidisciplinary practitioner, educator, curator of art + archives, currently in residence as the first Artist in the Community Resident in partnership with HUB-BUB and the Spartanburg County Public Libraries. Working primarily with photography and fiber at the intersection of site-specificity and duration, her practice involves material and conceptual investigation through research and collection, and is rooted in history: literal and conceptual, local and global, intimate and environmental, personal and anonymous.

 

Muhammad Suber: Born in Yonkers, New York, Artist InUs (Muhammad Suber) began sketching at 5 years old and is predominantly self-taught. He uses color pencils, pens and markers to inject real-life figures into fantasy settings -creating superheroes out of everyday people in his work. His goal is to break into the video game industry as a 2-D artist and to create a nonprofit that trains low-income youth in artistic techniques and current 2-D and 3-D animation to increase the diversity of representation in emerging art-technology industries.

 

Giovanna Veltre: Giovanna Veltre is an Atlanta artist currently working towards her BFA at Georgia State University. She is a feminist fiber artist using knit, crochet, and dye techniques in reference to the body. Using unlikely materials like tampons, she celebrates both menstruation and birth in relation to female power.  She plans to continue her practice in Atlanta and hopes to one day open her very own an arts center.

 

Jacquay Waller: Jacquay Waller, a native of Memphis, Tennessee received his BS in Computer Science from Tennessee State University. Additionally, he holds a Master of Divinity from Emory University, MBA from Troy University and multiple professional certifications.  He is a classically trained bass-baritone vocalist and has been an accomplished member of AmeriColor Opera Alliance. He is a proud recipient of the James A. Hyter Award and the African American Playwright Exchange (AAPEX) Artist of the Year Award. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Incorporated.  In his last year of seminary at Emory University, Jacquay produced and directed the show Coming from where I’m from. From here, his entertainment company DreamCatcher ENT was birthed. DreamCatcher produces theatrical experiences as a means for igniting community engagement with social issues.

 

Andrea Waterstone: Andrea Waterstone is a community-based public artist and the Director of Curation and Programming at Square Mile Gallery in Clarkston, Ga. She has served as the Arts Program Director at the Clarkston Community Center where she ran STE(A)M afterschool and summer programming. Andrea is a visual art teacher and multi-media artist who collaborates with teaching artists on fabricating large wooden sculptures, murals, recycled environmental art and mixed-medium Public Art. Andrea has designed and implemented arts based programming at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, The International Community School, Jewish Kids Groups and served as a writer for the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) for K-12th grade Art. Andrea received her BA from the University of Georgia in Studio Art and holds a Masters in Special Education/ Deaf Education from Valdosta State University.

 

Kacie Willis: Kacie is a Detroit-native who has been residing in Atlanta for the past 3 years. She holds her BS in Music Recording Technology from Hampton University and her MFA in Sound Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition to freelancing, Kacie has worked at The Center for Puppetry Arts and Horizon Theatre and interned at Synchronicity Theatre and Theatrical Outfit. She currently serves as the Patron Services Manager at 7 Stages and enjoys finding ways to contribute to the community through creative collaboration.

Past Hatch participants have been busy putting their skills to use both in Atlanta and elsewhere. Lauren Pallotta Stumberg is the curator and organizer of the Moreland Mural Project, a public art project to be located at the corner of Dekalb Ave and Moreland Ave in Atlanta, which, when completed, will include murals by 22 female artists. Charmaine Minniefield recently wrapped her time as curator of the Foxfire 50th Anniversary Festival in the North Georgia Mountains. William Massey’s ColorATL project is working to provide coloring books for 1,500-2,000 Atlantans in transitional or medically urgent situations featuring the work of over 40 Atlanta based artists. Currently, you can find Michael Jones finishing his 100-ft long mural project near the Chamblee MARTA. And Beth West conducts a regular series of Social Justice Improv workshops around the Atlanta Metro Area.

C4 is excited to welcome our newest cohort and looks forward to the creative work they will bring forth to communities in our city and beyond!